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05/17/12 7:22 PM ET

Karstens ready to take next step toward return

WASHINGTON -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said before Thursday's game with the Nationals that pitcher Jeff Karstens was doing well after throwing Wednesday.

"He feels good today," Hurdle said. "We'll go with the bullpen [session] tomorrow in Detroit, and then we'll evaluate that and see how he feels Saturday, and then [put] the next step in place."

Karstens has been on the disabled list since April 18 with shoulder inflammation, and he threw 20 pitches before Wednesday's series opener in Washington.

Karstens is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts this season.

Pirates working on Interleague roster

WASHINGTON -- The Pirates are still trying to make some decisions regarding their roster as they prepare for this weekend's Interleague series in Detroit.

Since the games are in the American League city, the Pirates will need to use the designated hitter and won't able to do things like double-switches. That changes some things for manager Clint Hurdle.

The Pirates recalled right-hander Evan Meek on Wednesday, which gives them eight pitchers in the bullpen. They need to decide if they want to keep that many arms in the bullpen or go back to seven and add an extra position player/bat.

"We're one pitcher heavy right now," Hurdle said. "It does give you an easier time to navigate in the American League if you go a position player short. [The Tigers have] got a pretty good hitting ballclub. You [can] always look at that side."

Hurdle said he'll be talking with general manager Neal Huntington to make some decisions on the situation. He also said he won't "bang the drum" one way or the other on Interleague Play.

But Hurdle does enjoy going to Detroit, having been born in Big Rapids, Mich. He'd been to a few ballgames in the Motor City growing up.

"I never don't like going to Detroit," Hurdle said. "I'm from Michigan. It's always good to go back. It was really special going back to old Tiger Stadium, because I'd been there as a kid. ... That's good stuff for me."

Worth noting

• Josh Harrison entered Thursday hitting .500 (5-for-10) with runners in scoring position this season. He's batting .328 with runners in scoring position since coming to the Major Leagues in 2011.

• Right-hander Jared Hughes continued his solid rookie season Wednesday night. He threw a scoreless eighth inning and now has a nine-inning scoreless-inning streak. His ERA of 1.31 is the lowest among Major League rookie pitchers.

• Andrew McCutchen's first-inning homer Thursday extended his hitting streak to six games.

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.